A water connection of two inches in diameter was sanctioned for a private hospital in North Nazimabad under the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board water connection service charges policy, the KWSB told the Sindh High Court.
Filing a statement on a petition against the allocation of an allegedly illegal water supply line to Ziauddin Hospital, and the shortage of water for the residents of blocks A, B and F of the neighbourhood, the KWSB counsel submitted that the water board was operating under a policy under which sizes of water connections have been specified for hospitals, schools, colleges, government housing and trusts.
The board’s counsel submitted that the connection given to the hospital from 48-inch diameter supply line was allowed keeping in view the area and residents in mind so that the residents’ supply line was not affected.
The KWSB said the hospital was not the only one having a connection sanctioned through the supply line as many others hospitals, including the NIVCD, SIUT, Liaquat National Hospital, Indus Hospital and Chiniot Hospital, had got such connections sanctioned from the main bulk water supply line.
The petitioner’s counsel filed objections to the Nazir’s report, submitting that the KWSB concealed data of the availability of water in the 48-inch-diameter line, and details of areas depending on the water supply. The counsel alleged that the KWSB was depriving the people of the vicinity from their legal right of water.
The counsel of the private hospital sought an adjournment to file a statement along with the relevant notification on at the next hearing.
The provincial law officer also requested time to call the deputy commissioner of District Central, who was directed to explain position with regard to permission for road- cutting, before the court as the previous order could not be communicated to him.
A division bench headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi directed the deputy commissioner and the relevant officer of the KWSB to appear on September 30.
Earlier, the Nazir of the court submitted that waterline of the private hospital had been connected to the mid of the bottom of the 48-inch-diameter pipeline. The court had directed the KWSB to refer to the relevant law, rules and regulations under which a two-inch-diameter commercial connection could be given to a consumer from the 48-inch-diameter pipeline.
The counsel of the private hospital filed a counter affidavit denying the allegations of the petitioner with regard to the allocation of an illegal water connection by the KWSB.
He submitting that the hospital had exercised its fundamental right to get water to meet the requirements of the hospital through the proscribed procedure and paid the requisite amount to board. He submitted that there was no illegality in the application or grant of the water connection and requested the court to dismiss the petition.
The petitioners alleged that the KWSB had approved another water supply line for the hospital, which they claimed already had two illegal connections of soft water, while the residents of blocks A, B and F had been facing an acute water shortage due to the unavailability of the commodity.
They claimed that the hospital is also going to take an illegal four-inch connection from the main 48-inch pipeline in collusion with the KWSB and the local administration solely for commercial purposes.
They said the hospital is some 1.5 kilometres away from the main pipeline, but instead of getting a connection from a nearby pipeline, they are disturbing the main water pumping station line of the North Nazimabad and Nazimabad areas.
The petitioners’ counsel said that there is no provision under the law that a private individual can be granted a direct connection from the main 48-inch pipeline that is meant to supply water through the pumping station meant for several connections to be given to various blocks.
He said that there is apprehension among the residents that the allegedly illegal connection will be provided to the hospital, for which the water line will be laid within a short period of time, and it will cause shortage of water supply for a large number of residents of the neighbourhood.